A high-level delegation from the Moldovan Police IT Service visited the UK earlier this month to learn lessons about speed cameras, traffic monitoring and driver offender rectification. The visit, sponsored by the US Embassy in Moldova with the assistance of the British Embassy, was aimed at developing better camera enforcement strategies and ways of boosting speed compliance. EASST Director Emma MacLennan organised the agenda in cooperation with Kent Police and Kent County Council.

Dan Chiriţa and Dana Andronic trying out mobile speed enforcement

The Moldovan group was headed by Police Col Dan Chiriţa, Chief of the Police IT Service. The Moldovan delegation also included:

  • Mr Dorin Capcelea, Chief of Road Traffic Monitoring and Control Service, Moldova
  • Mr Oleg Ceban, Chief of Informational Management and Misdemeanors Section, Moldovan Police
  • Mrs Dana Andronic, Chief of Direction of Information Technology Management Services, Moldovan Police
  • Mr Marin Betu, Chief of Customer Services for Information Technology Department, Moldovan Police.

The introduction in Moldova of video monitoring cameras for speed enforcement has proved a great success in reducing speeds along critical, high-risk routes in Chisinau. There are now plans to expand the system nationwide. The Moldovan Police are interested in improving their ‘back office’ management, finding alternative ways of dealing with speed offenders and learning how to maximise behaviour change for safer roads.

David Currie and Steven Taylor with Moldovan delegation in Kent Police Processing Centre

The visit began with an introduction to the Kent and Medway Camera Safety Partnership. Anne-Marie Penny, Director of the Partnership, described how they take strategic decisions about camera locations and enforcement. PC Stuart Russell-Thomas of Kent Police showed the visitors examples of fixed and mobile speed detection equipment in operation and answered questions about plans for new speed camera technologies. David Currie, Head of the Kent Police Processing Centre, showed the visitors around the centre and explained their procedures both for fining offenders or offering them the alternative of a speed awareness course. Steven Taylor, Supervisor of the Driver Diversion Team in Kent Police, demonstrated in detail the methodology for processing each case and shared experience with the colleagues from Moldova.

Ian Aspinall, NDORS, with delegation at Kent Police HQ

A key area of interest for the Moldovan visitors is NDORS – the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (see: https://dors.police.uk). Each member of the group had a chance to witness a speed awareness class in operation in Kent, organised by Steve Horton, Road Safety Team Leader of Kent County Council. The group met with Ian Aspinall, Business and Operations Manager of NDORS to discuss how the scheme might be implemented in Moldova. Ian was one of the original developers of the idea of driver rectification over twenty years ago, working in Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. The courses targeted drivers who had committed minor speeding offences by addressing driver behaviour and providing training as an alternative to points on their licences or prosecution. Since then the scheme has been developed and improved with the assistance of road safety experts and educational psychologists. More than one million motorists in the UK have been through the course with measurable results in reducing reoffending and building support for camera enforcement.

Chief Inspector Tracy Stephenson shows group the London Transport Metrocomm Centre

The group also viewed Kent Highways Traffic Management Centre in Aylesford – the control centre that oversees and manages the urban traffic flow in major towns and cities in Kent. The centre helps keep the traffic flowing even when there are road incidents, road works or severe weather conditions. Toby Butler and Denise Sutton, the Centre Managers, showed the group around and answered questions on traffic management.

On the final day of the visit the group travelled to London to visit the Metrocomm Traffic & Transport Joint Control Room and Surface Transport and Traffic Operations Centre operated by Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police, by invitation from Chief Inspector Tracy Stephenson of the Met. The centre includes London Buses Command and Control, London Streets Traffic Control Centre and London Underground in its active partnership. Around 25 million trips are made to, from or within London every day. The Centre uses state of the art monitoring systems to manage these journeys safety and enable quick response to any major incidents and events. 

The police delegation from Moldova will now consider plans to develop their own systems, and in particular a version of driver rectification courses for speed offenders. This will form an important part of EASST’s input, working with Moldova, into the TRACECA II Road Safety Programme supported by the European Union.